Special Report

The Most Iconic Job in Every State

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21. Massachusetts
> Most iconic job: Biochemists and biophysicists
> Employed in job statewide: 4,100
> Median salary: $107,030
> Share of all U.S. biochemists and biophysicists in Mass.: 15.0%

Biochemists and biophysicists are about six times more common in Massachusetts than they are nationwide. They primarily study the physical and chemical properties of living organisms and processes. Such workers typically hold a doctorate, and about 15% of all American biochemists and biophysicists work in Massachusetts. Massachusetts ranks as the most educated state in the country.

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22. Michigan
> Most iconic job: Tool and die makers
> Employed in job statewide: 14,270
> Median salary: $54,200
> Share of all U.S. tool and die makers in Mich.: 19.4%

Tool and die makers follow blueprints to make tools and parts at specific dimensions for a wide range of machine parts. The occupation is central to many manufacturing operations, a large industry in Michigan. About one in every five American tool and die makers work in Michigan.

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23. Minnesota
> Most iconic job: Slaughterers and meat packers
> Employed in job statewide: 6,050
> Median salary: $30,550
> Share of all U.S. slaughterers and meat packers in Minn.: 7.8%

Slaughterers and meat packers are four times more common in Minnesota’s workforce than in the country’s labor force as a whole. Only seven states reported greater livestock sales than Minnesota in 2017. Minnesota also leads the country in turkey production and ranks second in hog farming. One of the largest companies in the state is Gordon Food Service, a Wyoming, Minnesota-based food distribution company. Gordon Food Service is the largest family operated food distribution company in North America.

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24. Mississippi
> Most iconic job: Fabric and apparel patternmakers
> Employed in job statewide: 680
> Median salary: $35,570
> Share of all U.S. fabric and apparel patternmakers in Miss.: 14.1%

Over 14% of all Americans employed as fabric and apparel patternmakers work in Mississippi. The state is home to several apparel makers, including several that specialize in camouflage clothing. Examples include Drake, based in Olive Branch, and Mossy Oak, headquartered in West Point, Mississippi. These companies distribute their products nationwide and have a readymade market instate, as Mississippi has over 1,000 square miles of public hunting land.

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25. Missouri
> Most iconic job: Locker room, coatroom, and dressing room attendants
> Employed in job statewide: 1,770
> Median salary: $19,300
> Share of all U.S. locker room, coatroom, and dressing room attendants in Mo.: 9.9%

There are 1,770 people working as locker room, coatroom, and dressing room attendants in Missouri, amounting to about one in every 10 people working in the profession nationwide. With a median annual wage of just $19,300, such jobs tend to be low paying. Missouri also happens to be poorer than most states, with a median annual household income of just $53,578. For reference, the typical American household earns $60,336 a year.

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